In previous blogs I have referred to my breast cancer as breast banana in order to disempower it. Well it seems to be working as I had an examination the other day and after just two months of Taxotere (otherwise known in the UK as Docetaxel) the only bit of the smaller banana that the doc` could feel was the titanium marker and the other banana has shrunk a lot and is now soft to the touch, which is GREAT and what the doc was hoping for. She said she was hoping to cure me and I told her I like that word. Cure, what a great word!
So – that`s the first three months done and dusted thank you very much! Taxotere is pretty aggressive on the old white cells and also affects your red blood cells to an extent and can make some people feel really tired and a bit short of breath. The good news is that like me, many of us have a very good tolerance of Taxotere and experience few and quite mild side effects which I have discussed in an earlier blog. Also, the body is so amazing at adjusting to chemotherapy, that after about 10 days, I certainly feel much more like me and by then of course it`s nearly time to see the doc` about the next treatment. Ho hum.
For me the worst aspect of banana therapy this far has been an injection of a drug called Neulasta which isn`t actually chemotherapy, but is given after Taxotere and some other treatments in order to boost the white blood cells. The main side effect of Neulasta for many people is bone ache and there is no prettying it up, it`s bloody horrible and I have to take a lot of pain killer, usually Ibuprofen or Co-codemol in order to manage it. It lasts for about five days. Many people on chemo also suffer from MAJOR constipation after a treatment, again very common and easily remedied with Senacot or Movocol. This lasts for two or three days. No-one should put up with being uncomfortable and I speak to my pharmacist at Lloyds Chemist if I`m worried. He is great. I can never get hold of my consultant, I`ve only met him once and I see his registrar she is lovely and very reassuring. My next three treatments are called FEC T, and I will no longer need the injection so hopefully it`ll be a bit easier from then on. We shall see, everyone`s chemotherapy journey is different.
The doc` says I can go back to work from May onwards as my immunity will be on the up, she has no problem with this. As my contract with my current employer finishes in April, I am on the lookout. I get bored so easily at home and being at home gives me far too much time to Google which is never a terribly good idea when you`re feeling low. All offers of work gratefully received! Of course I still have a journey ahead of me, a bit of surgery, maybe some radiotherapy, hormone tablets for several years…. but I remain optimistic with the occasional bad day which is to be expected. People always say, “Stay strong!” or “Keep positive!” but it ain`t always so easy when you`re on the receiving end. Sometimes you just need a good blart.
To fill my time I have been finishing a small book about an intriguing man I once knew. I have found a publisher which is rather serendipity and he is going to get it up on Kindle for me so I am VERY excited. I won`t make any money to speak of however, it isn`t about money so watch this space as I am very nearly at the conclusion. I won`t put any spoilers here……. you will just have to wait!
Meanwhile, I continue to receive requests for bald impersonations which I put up on Facebook. So far I have done, Sigourney Weaver playing Ellen Ripley in Aliens, Sinead O`Connor with some new words for Nothing Compares to Chemo and Walter White out of Breaking Bad.
This weekend I`m doing Kurtz from Apocalypse now……..
Have a great weekend, it`s a beautiful day! 🙂